Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Before we moved, Gwen was registered at an adorable little preschool that she was super excited about attending.  I did my research and was thrilled with our decision.  But after our move, that school is too far away so we had to start our search again from scratch.  We found a beautiful school with very well-educated teachers, and a great sense of community and family involvement.  Another huge plus is that it's only 5 minutes from the house and directly across from the ocean which gives it a nice atmosphere (and a nice little place to visit after school).

Orientation day was September 3rd.  There was a lot of build up to it and we almost didn't end up making it.  But after a quick trip to Urgent Care for an infected scrape, we got there just in the nick of time!  All four of us went around to each classroom and met the teachers and other families.

The following day was her first real day of school, and again there was a lot of build up and excitement.  Gwen was SO ready that when I dropped her off (half expecting to hang around for a few minutes and watch), she turned to me and said: "Mom, aren't you going to leave?" "yes, Gwen I am." "now?"  I took that as my cue and walked out feeling super proud and happy to have raised such a well-adjusted daughter.  Three hours later, Nathan, Nana and I all went to pick her up.  She walked out of her classroom and had a little tear.  When she saw us she just broke down and started crying.  After watching her for a few weeks, I think she was just very overwhelmed that day and when she saw us, needed to release.  Since then, about half the time she doesn't want me to leave her in the morning and she'll tell me that she doesn't like school, but every pickup has gone great with her smiling and telling me what a great day she had.  Fingers crossed that drop off will be a happy occasion soon.  It seems to me now that she is starting to get to know and really like the teachers and other students so I'm happy with how things are going and I think she'll do really well there.

at Urgent Care the morning of orientation

but we still made it in time!!

no time for a 1st day of school pic, lets go mom!

Gwen is thrilled to be at the same school as Emerson
(the daughter of my friend from college!)

big girls, ready for their first day!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

fifteen months - Nathan

Nathan had his 15 month visit the other day and I've been so behind posting all of these updates but I want to share now, while everything is still fresh in my mind this time!

I guess I should start with his personality -
He's still an emotional dude.  It's nice for me because I see (and receive) so much affection from him.  He's a hugger - the kind of hugs where he just grabs you and rests his head on you and makes contented noises.  He just recently started giving kisses, which is SO adorable, but the only one I've ever actually seen him do it to so far is his sister - which may be even MORE adorable to me.  He walks up to her sometimes and just hugs her and gives her a kiss and she completely eats it up.  I have no experience with sister/brother relationships whatsoever so I have no idea what to expect but I'm hoping that they always stay close like this.
He laughs. SO much.  It's so easy to get a smile or a laugh out of him.  His new favorite thing is "this little piggy went to the market", he loves it and it's my new trick if he's pissed off while I'm changing his diaper.  Speaking of being pissed off....
It goes both ways - super happy and then super pissed.  I can see him getting frustrated because he can't express himself the way he needs to and he's literally throwing tantrums already - at 15 months.

He's super ticklish.  He loves being tickled, to the point where he'll start tickling himself on the belly and any time he's tickling himself or being tickled by someone else, he tries to mimic the "tickle tickle tickle" sound and it just comes out as this drooly, lispy, tongue roll noise.  I can't explain it, I really need to make sure I get it on video at some point because it's one of those things I'll look back on and really appreciate.

He gets into EVERYTHING.  I literally don't sit down during the day anymore.  He climbs into/onto/over/under/above anything, and he's fast.  Also, his favorite things are power cords and outlets..lovely.

He has now turned into a full blown thumb-sucker.  Justin and I both sucked our thumbs for an embarrassingly long period of time.  We were hoping to avoid that with both kids by using the pacifier.  Gwen was obsessed with it and we ended up waiting too long to take it away from her and, as a result, it caused her to stop napping when we took it away at 2.5 yrs.  Because of that, we took Nathan's pacifiers away right around 1 yr old.  It was a piece of cake because he never got really hooked on it like Gwen did.  But then he started sucking his thumb at night and just recently, a lot during the day.  It's kind of adorable because when he sucks his thumb, he also rubs his earlobe with his other hand. (not sure how adorable it will be when he's 12, though)

He's a man of very few words.  Mama, No, Me, Dog, More, Dada(sometimes).  Gwen was slow to start talking too, and now the girl doesn't stop.  So i'm not too concerned about it.  Per the Dr, 5-15 words is average at this age and she didn't seem concerned at all especially because his comprehension is very good.

His fine motor skills are very good for his age.  The Dr made sure to tell me that when she walked into the room, as he was drawing all over the exam table paper (and himself) with a pen.  The way he holds the pen in his fingers apparently is **ahem** advanced.  Again, another similarity to his sis!

15 month stats -
Weight: 21lbs 2oz 26%
Height: 30in 13%
Head Circ: 18.5in 56%

Here he is - my sweet, sensitive, energetic, happy (and sometimes pissed, but mostly happy) guy!  His eyes just pierce my heart and soul.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Happy 1st Birthday, Nathan John!

The day has come and my little guy is a year old!  Nathan is the most smiley, loving, and emotional little boy.  He shows the people in his life so much love and it's amazing to me that a one year old is capable of not only feeling it, but being able to show so much affection.

Food - This is a much easier stage because he eats what we eat now and he's able to feed himself most of the time.  We cut up most things, but he's also able to hold a sandwich and take bites of it.  Meat is his favorite, and the kid doesn't like pasta...?

Nursing - We're at 4x/day now.  We've also been giving him cow's milk every so often and although he didn't take to it right away he can't get enough of it now.

Sleeping - Naps are terrific, but we're still working on our overnight sleeping.  I've been nursing him once (on average) in the wee hours of the morning.

Moving - No walking yet.  He really just started cruising around tables and couches.  He's a little speed demon on all-fours.

Some stats from his 12 month visit:
Weight: 19lbs 5oz - 19%
Height: 29in - 20%
Head Circ: 18.5in - 77%

For comparison, here are his Newborn stats:
Weight: 7lbs 10oz - 59%
Height: 21in - 97%
I don't have his newborn head circumference measurement.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

First Haircut

Big boy is almost ONE and needed a big boy haircut to match :)


very skeptical

my handsome big boy!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Nathan - nine to eleven months

I'm grouping these together again because, well, kids really have a way of keepin' ya busy!  I would say that over the past few months, the biggest changes in Nathan have been his ability to communicate. Right around 9.5 months, he started waving "hi" and signing "all done".  Shortly after that, he was clapping and signing "more".  The "Stupid Baby Tricks" stage as I've heard it so lovingly referred to has got to be one of the most exciting!

9 month stats:
Weight - 18lbs 5oz 21%
Height - 27.75in 43%
Head - 17.75in 51%

Friday, February 21, 2014

Nathan - eight months

Although it's mainly in the backwards direction, he's mobile!  Set Nathan on the floor and he's on the move.  He'll usually lunge forward to grab a toy, rock on his hands and knees for a bit but then ends up on his belly and gets pissed.  He can spin himself around, but most of the time just moves backwards until he gets stuck under the couch.  In addition, he seems like he'll be ready to pull himself up soon.  He does it with little help from us while holding onto our fingers and he'll remain standing if he has something to hold on to.

Separation anxiety.  This is something that we really didn't deal with when Gwen was a baby.  I could pretty much walk out of her sight at any point, anywhere and she would be perfectly fine.  This time around, things are a bit different.  In the past week or two, I set him down and the lip pout starts.  If I walk away, forget it.  It's like I've abandoned him forever and I'm the meanest Mom on the planet.  He's even throwing a fit if I take a toy away from him these days, and with a big sister who is newly very territorial over her toys (no doubt because baby bro is more mobile, and grabbing at them), I feel like I'm always just trying to keep the peace.

Regardless, I still feel like this is the happiest little guy I've ever known.  His smile can light up my whole day.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Princess Tea

We were excited to hear that Gram and Pa's favorite spot in Salem, The Hawthorne Hotel puts on an annual event for little Princesses (and Princes) in their gorgeous banquet hall!  Grammy treated Gwen, Nathan and me to a lovely afternoon of dress up, dancing, and lunch.  Gwen and Nathan were announced into the hall when we arrived and we were brought to our table by one of the "Hawthorne Princesses".  Gwen seemed a bit overwhelmed at first but she had what I call a quiet excitement.  She was in awe of the big Princesses and she followed her Princess around for a good portion of the time, holding her hand and swaying slowly to the music while staring up at her in wonder with a shy smile never leaving her face.  Of course, with about 20 minutes left she became completely comfortable and was "that girl" running around the dance floor and twirling like it was her job.  I wish I could've bottled that day, it was such a special one for all of us.

we loved sharing the day with our friend Emerson :)

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